Moments after Sachin Tendulkar bid goodbye to cricket on Saturday, India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna was bestowed upon him along with scientist Professor CNR Rao.
But as is the case so often, politics has taken over after the announcement. Politicians of different parties have joined the fray and are questioning why some other eminent individuals have still not been honoured with the award.
The Bharatiya Janata Party spat fire yesterday, asking why former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has not been given the award. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan demanded that hockey great Major Dhyan Chand too should be given the Bharat Ratna.
Chouhan told CNN IBN, “It is good that Sachin Tendulkar has got the Bharat Ratna, but hockey great Major Dhyan Chand too should be given Bharat Ratna.”
He added, “I have written earlier to the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna on Major Dhyan Chand, but got no reply. I will write again to the Centre to consider Dhyan Chand for the honour.”
Former India player Ashok Kumar, the son of Dhyan Chand, said: “It is a welcome step from the government to include sportspersons for Bharat Ratna. This recognition will motivate all sportspersons to excel in their fields.”